Tim Ferriss

Timothy Ferriss (born July 20, 1977) is an American entrepreneur, investor, author, podcaster, and lifestyle guru.[1][2] He became well-known through his 4-Hour self-help book series—including The 4-Hour Work WeekThe 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef[3]—that focused on lifestyle optimizations, but he has since reconsidered this approach.[4]

Early life

Ferriss grew up in East Hampton, New York. Throughout childhood, Ferriss experienced poor health, sparking an interest in self-improvement. After graduating from St. Paul’s School, Ferriss matriculated at Princeton University, earning a B.A. in East Asian studies in 2000.[5] His senior thesis was titled Acquisition of Japanese Kanji: Conventional Practice and Mnemonic Supplementation, under the supervision of Seiichi Makino.[6] After graduating from Princeton, Ferriss worked in sales at a data storage company.[7]


In 2001, Ferriss founded BrainQUICKEN, an internet-based nutritional supplements business, while still employed at his prior job.[8] He sold the company, then known as BodyQUICK, to a London-based private equity firm in 2010.[9][10] He has stated that The 4-Hour Workweek was based on this period.[10]

Ferriss has been an angel investor and advisor to startups.[11] He invested or advised in companies including as Reputation.com, Trippy, and TaskRabbit.[12] He is a pre-seed money advisor to Uber.[13][14] In 2013, Ferriss raised $250,000 to invest in Shyp by forming a syndicate on AngelList.[15] Ferriss raised over $500,000 through his backers, and Shyp raised a total of $2.1 million. In 2018, Shyp shut down[16][17][18] and laid off all its employees.[19]

In November 2013, Ferriss began an audiobook publishing venture, Tim Ferriss Publishing.[20] The first book published was Vagabonding by Rolf Potts.[20] Other books include Ego is the Enemy and The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday, Daily Rituals by Mason Currey, and What I Learned Losing A Million Dollars by Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan.[21]

Also in 2015, Ferriss declared a long vacation from new investing. He cited the stress of the work and a feeling his impact was “minimal in the long run”, and said he planned to spend time on his writing and media projects.[22] In 2017 he stated one of the reasons he moved from Silicon Valley was that, “After effectively ‘retiring’ from angel investing 2 years ago,” he had no professional need to be in the Bay Area.[23]

A picture showing cover of one of the most notable works of Ferriss.

Ferriss has written five books, The 4-Hour Workweek (2007, expanded edition 2009), The 4-Hour Body (2010), The 4-Hour Chef (2012), Tools of Titans (2016), and Tribe of Mentors (2017).

In December 2013, The Tim Ferriss Experiment debuted on HLN. The series focused on Ferriss’ life hacking and speed learning methods. Although 13 episodes were produced, only a portion were shown on television.[24] Ferriss also hosted the 2017 TV show Fear{Less} with Tim Ferriss, in which he interviews people from different industries about success and innovation.[25]

Ferriss has raised funds for the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and for the Center for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London. Since 2016, Ferriss donated at least $2,000,000 for clinical research into psychedelic drugs.[26][27]

In 2017, Tim Ferriss gave the TED talk “Why you should define your fears instead of your goals.”[28]

He reevaluated his earlier ideas in a 2020 interview with GQ, concluding that “not everything that is meaningful can be measured.”[4] In his turn towards resilience and even spirituality, he recommends three books, Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach, Awareness by Anthony de Mello, and Letters From a Stoic (Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium) by Lucius Seneca.[29] He calls the last one, “My favorite writing of all time”.[22]

Ferriss continues to release episodes of The Tim Ferriss Show, an interview-centered podcast running since April 22, 2014.[30]

In December 2022 Ferris launched an NFT project about roosters named “The Legend of CockPunch”.[31]

Published works

  • Ferriss, Timothy (2007). The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 978-0-307-35313-9.
  • Ferriss, Timothy (2009). The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated). New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 978-0-307-46535-1.
  • Ferriss, Timothy (2010). The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. New York: Crown Archetype. ISBN 978-0307463630.
  • Ferriss, Timothy (2012). The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-547-88459-2.
  • Ferriss, Timothy (2016). Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-1-328-68378-6.
  • Ferriss, Timothy (2017). Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-1-328-99496-7.

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